Because my wife and I spend Easter Sunday with her parents and extended family every year, I had the opportunity to watch much of the final round of the Masters on my father-in-law’s 42-inch wide screen television. Golf usually isn’t my game, and the combination of low volume and lots of background noise meant that we couldn’t hear a lot of the commentary, but it was still fascinating to watch as the event unfolded.

If you had asked on the front nine, I would have told you that the tournament was Retief Goosen’s to lose. For a time he played extremely well, moving up from six over par at the start of the day to two over and a share of the lead. Most importantly, CBS told me that after getting off to a rough start (something like +9 after 38 holes), he had shot –6 on his last 23 holes.

Rory Sabbatini was also in the hunt thanks to a remarkable eagle on eight, accomplished thanks to a near ninety-degree break on a lengthy putt. He failed to take advantage of the momentum, however, bogeying the next hole and shooting even par on the back nine.

The thing that stood out most for me was the performance of Tiger Woods, who never really ascended to “TIGER” status at any point. The threat was always there, simply because of who he is, but it was difficult to watch and say, “Uh oh, here comes Tiger.” He did have a few nice moments – breaking his club on a shot from behind a tree to save par and notching an eagle on 13 – but he looked awfully mortal. (Not as mortal as Phil Mickelson or Luke Donald – awful triple bogeys on 1 and 9, respectively – but still mortal.)

Finally, the Masters really does begin on the back nine on Sunday (Yahoo! Sports)